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And Then the Rodeo Burned Down - Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK)

Reviewed by Kate Gaul

The Space @ Niddry Street

Aug 18-26

Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)

Country: America

Warnings and additional info: Scenes of violence, Strong language/swearing


4 STARS

- The work is a breath of fresh air and a testament that if you put your heart and soul into something you can surprise yourself! -

Xhloe Rice and Natasha Roland from NYC present And then the Rodeo Burned Down – hell! But this ain’t their first rodeo! These gals made their Edinburgh Fringe Debut in 2022, receiving the prestigious Fringe First Award for Outstanding New Writing, followed by a run at the historic King's Head Theatre in London. As they say on their website, they put their “blood, sweat, tears, blood, tears, and more blood into everything we create, so we hope you find us as funny as we find ourselves”.



Image by Tristan Kenton


This is a queer comedy clown story about a clown who wants to become a cowboy. And a cow. And rodeo. It’s good. Everyone else can tell you what the story is (and you should go see it yourself) so I’m not going into detail about Dale the rodeo clown and aspiring cowboy. Or Dilly Dally the shadow (yeah, what is that?). It’s good ‘ol singin’, dancin’ and a heap a good actin’ thrown in. Physical theatre, clowning, storytelling, kissing and cuddling - this show has it all.


"This is a big-hearted love story and permission to burn it all down!"

The show is tightly choreographed and scripted even when it appears a bit rough around the edges. It has such a light touch that it often feels like virtuosic improvisation and that’s the point. It eventually becomes absurdly meta, and the audience is on the edge of seats. Like the characters, the performers now jostle for independence inside the structure they have created for themselves. Is this a piece about writing you own queer story, claiming your identity and independence, being true to yourself? This is a big-hearted love story and permission to burn it all down!


And then the Rodeo Burned Down is a breath of fresh air and a testament that if you put your heart and soul into something you can surprise yourself!

 

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